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Apr 14, 2021

Tips on writing your IC strategy

One of our new members Rachel from Amey is asking us what are simply's top tips for writing an internal communications strategy. I immediately reached for all the links to our advice on this subject like Lisa's article on writing your business case , which is well worth a read.  But I also thought that perhaps the IC Strategy story is probably due a rethink thanks to the pandemic. Here are a couple of stories that might explain why: In one of our Tech Titan interviews the leader of a large vendor was describing a call he had with the CFO of a new large account they had just won.  The CFO asked him whether he had enough money: "the size of the budget is not important; getting it right is". The amount of money that company was prepared to pay for their new comms platform did not have a ceiling.  That's the first time I have heard that said about comms. Another interviewee, this time a practitioner was describing the meetings she was having with the CEO, COO and HRD of a global food manufacturer, at the outbreak of the pandemic. Getting workers into the factories was essential to guarantee that their products would be in the supermarkets the next week.  The question they feared from factory staff was: "Why should I come into work?" No one knew the health risks, management themselves were working from home, and the products in question were not essential foodstuffs.   Only comms could convince them that supplying the nation with what effectively were treats - was indeed essential. All 5,000 staff turned up for work - reassured that they would be kept safe ding a crucial job. The pandemic has given a whole new reason for being in internal communications.  We are no longer working towards some nebulous engagement outcome; we are at the centre of keeping businesses alive.   That's our new strategy. 
Feb 22, 2021

Job description for a modern intranet manager

One of our members is creating a job description for their intranet manager and it got us thinking about how the role is changing as technology advances.   The role used to be called the "PutterUpper" - the person who would do all the posting on the intranet because no one else knew how to navigate the tortuous content management system. But as Sharepoint became more user-friendly the intranet manager could move up the value chain and take on more interesting roles. With the arrival of Microsoft Viva then the role could become even more enhanced - taking on not just communications but also knowledge management, personal development and well-being in association with subject specialists in HR. So let me know what your description of the job is and we will produce a JD for a new era.  Just give us your thoughts or examples and we will synthesise a description fit for the new generation of personalised, user-centric intranets.
Jan 27, 2021

CEO jargon - Boohoo CEO sets the benchmark!?

Good spot by Ros Hunt on the appalling statement from Boohoo's CEO on their acquisition of Debenhams' web sites.  Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what they're actually trying to say here!? As someone who started a career in corp comms, this whole statement makes me feel somewhat nausaous!  Boohoo CEO John Lyttle said: “The acquisition of the Debenhams brand is an important development for the group, as we seek to capture incremental growth opportunities arising from the accelerating shift to online retail. “We have developed a successful multi-brand direct-to-consumer platform that continues to disrupt the markets that we operate in. The acquisition represents an exciting strategic opportunity to transform our target addressable market through the creation of an online marketplace that leverages Debenhams' high brand awareness and traffic through the development of beauty and fashion partnerships connecting brands with consumers."
Jan 25, 2021

How would you cope if your digital channels went down?

Following Google and Slack's outages late last year, it got us thinking: What do internal communicators do if their intranets/digital workspaces/employee apps go wrong? Is there are back up plan? How would you cope in today's hybrid and remote working world if your digital channels went wrong? How would you keep communicating with your employees?  What contingencies do we need to consider? What’s the back-up plan?  I'm writing a piece about this for simply-communicate. Have you got a plan in place if the unthinkable happens? Perhaps it is already part of your business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan. Perhaps as an IC team you have already thought about what internal comms would look like if your day to day tools failed. Would you be happy to share your thoughts, or your plans, or even your experiences if this has happened to you already. Maybe you were affected by the Slack and Google outages at the end of last year?  I'd love your help and input so please share some thoughts here, or get in touch with me directly.    07785 702187    
Jan 07, 2021

Self-select employee gift

We have employees around the world and have really struggled to share any large scale employee gifts over the past year due to outdated people data and the sheer logistics of distributing the volume to individuals' addresses. I am looking for a global solution, like a microsite with an associated workflow, that • offers a small selection of same value items (plus the option to donate the equivalent value to our charity partners) • allows the employee to enter their address for the order to be fulfilled/delivery prompted via the third party (so GDPR compliant) • ideally, can be branded Does anyone have knowledge if such a thing exists? Am I looking for a unicorn? Any suggestions and ideas would be appreciated.... scratching my head here. Thanks, Cathrin
Nov 11, 2020

Is it possible for a comms director to have too much influence?

Number 10’s director of comms has tonight stepped down from his role amidst reports there’s friction over how much influence he has and the pro brexit agenda he’s reportedly known for. often hear and take part in conversations as to whether comms should have ‘a seat at the table’, but how many times has comms been deemed to have too much influence? What are the implications of this? Would love to hear your thoughts. 
Oct 13, 2020

Help us name our new survey/benchmark

I'm stuck.  Not stuck deciding which socks to wear to work (at least I don't have to think about shoes) or whether to first turn on Teams, Zoom, LinkedIn or Email as I start the day's work.No - I'm stuck for a name.You see, brainy Jonathan Phillips, our Head of Consultancy at simply has invented a brilliant new benchmark to help our members gauge how comms is going in the times of Covid. Or is it a survey? Or a Pulse? Whatever it is, it's pretty damn neat. Inside 10 days you can work out how your company's internal comms is faring on five key indicators. Are senior messages getting through? Are colleagues zoomed out? Are the fruits of collaboration withering into raisins in the fierce heat of Teams Meetings?It looks at your Covid Comms through these lenses:AudienceCommunicationCollaborationKnowledgeTransactionsGovernanceAnyhow this benchmark/survey/pulse thingy needs a name and I'm looking for your endorsement and/or inspiration to find a cool one; one that resonates with IC folk. Its working title is the "Digital Workplace Maturity Benchmark", but none of us is happy with that. The survey compares how your senior team thinks they are doing, with actual measurement of what employees reckon. You get a report back along with a benchmark against others and ideas on how to improve performance.But what to call it?The Zoom In SurveyThe Covid Comms BenchmarkThe Pandemic PulseWe are sure you can come up with something better.  And if you can just pop it in the comments below we will involve you and your organisation in our beta testing programme for free.So get those creative ideas flowing and win a benchmark/survey/pulse that will take the guesswork out of communicating in the Time of Covid...
Sep 14, 2020

monthly meet ups

Hi everyone, I'll soon be sending through to you an invitation to join a monthly community meet-up/ discussion. The purpose of these sessions is to provide you with the opportunity to catch up with fellow members, ask questions, share any challenges you may have and seek support.No formal agenda, no presentations, just discussion, and support.Feel free to join whenever you can. The time, space and opportunity is there for you. Lisa 
Aug 04, 2020

Nike ad - too good not to share

I'm sure most of you have seen this, but every time I watch it I find it awe-inspiring. Nike's latest ad is winning on social media and I suspect for those who work for the business, are equally inspired. For me, this is a really clear and needed demonstration of how we need purpose-driven organisations, especially in times like this. If you've watched our latest trends report, you'll have heard that we're seeing a real rise towards the need for comms around purpose and values. This plays into this trend beautifully (as long as what's happening on the outside is reflected on the inside!). The themes of togetherness, community and purpose are a winning combination. Here's a link to the video if you haven't yet seen it:

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